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Record number of students applying for medicine courses at university

A record number of students have submitted an application to study medicine at university, new figures have revealed.

Figures published by the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) showed that some 23,710 people have applied to start a medicine degree next September so far.

As of 15 October, there were 23,710 applications for 2020 undergraduate medicines courses – out of a total of 68,680 who have applied for undergraduate courses so far – a 6% increase on last year. These include 18,500 applicants from a UK country, 1,680 from the EU and 3,530 from a non-EU country. 

UCAS said the figures only represent a tenth of the final number of applicants, with the full picture likely to be available after the 15 January deadline.

UCAS chief executive Clare Marchant said: ‘I’m inspired by the record number of students who are ready to take on the challenge of demonstrating they have the knowledge, skills, and potential to succeed on these ever-competitive courses.

‘Today’s numbers are an initial temperature check, representing around a tenth of everyone who will apply by the end of the cycle. The full diagnosis will be delivered once the 15 January deadline passes.’

Health Education England reported last month that 3,538 GP trainees have been accepted in the past year, beating the annual target of 3,250.